Building an AlwaysOn Availability Group Part 1 of 3

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AlwaysOn Availability Groups are a new feature with SQL Server 2012, which builds on top of a combination of Windows Failover Clustering and SQL Server mirroring technology. This document will illustrate the process of configuring an Availability Group in your environment. It is important to remember that the member nodes of this cluster do not need to have shared storage and may be in multiple data center locations.


The below steps should be performed before SQL Server is installed.



  1. After adding the Failover Cluster feature to each member node in the cluster, create a cluster. (This will require a Virtual Computer Object in AD, as well as a Cluster Management IP Address, just like a standard SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance)




  1. Configuring Quorum–if this cluster is housed within one data center, then it is acceptable to use Node and Disk Majority for the quorum model. However, if the cluster is housed across data centers (which will be the likely model) Node and File Share Majority should be used as the model. Any SMB share that both nodes can access may be used, ideally it should be located in a different data center than each of the nodes.






The cluster is now prepared for the installation of SQL Server 2012.





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